Surrender To The Madness. Joker review

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The Joker is a master piece needed for this moment in time.

A time when unelected leaders shut down open debates by elected representatives in the name of democracy.

A time when protestors fighting to save our planet are imprisoned or attacked whilst the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity are rewarded by profits and protected by a bias media.

Where a person kills an innocent man in his own home and is given more sympathy than the victim because the killer was a white women and the victim was a black man- but we are told daily that modern society is colour blind.

We live in the age of cognitive dissonance and the mental illness it causes.

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Joker gets this. It is not an comic book action movie. It captures ground zero tipping point of extreme measure. The realisation that whilst living in crazy times carrying on as if everything is normal is the true sign of madness.

Cue manic laugh at the irony…

But in that manic cackle (that Phoenix pulls off so well) is the ghost of everytime you have ever laughed in disbelief or shrugged “Fuck This Shit” at the news or ridiculously shitty, unjust or unfair life moment.

That medicinal laughter that feels so good. Numbs your pain and mollifies your hope. Comic relief from the harsh realities of a fucked up world.

This is perhaps why the Joker is an uncomfortable watch for many. No we are not going to turn into an angry mob of murdering, looting psychopaths or think that Joker is the messiah returned. But Gotham reminds us too much of where we are right now.

But Batman isnt coming and our world is being led by a pack of Jokers.

Joker receives 🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅

But should come with a trigger warning regarding child/domestic abuse and mental health.

Was The Hate U Give, given enough love?

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****SPOILER ALERT*****.

This post is really for anyone who has seen the film, read the book or is not planning to do either.

The Hate U Give is a powerful film but has the book’s original message been scarificed for commercial backing. For me, it was the incredible performances,  rather than the writing and direction of the adaptation that stole the show.

I left the cinema teary eyed but with a distinct Pepsi Max after taste and a thirst to read the book.

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After a couple of chapters, it was clear that the plot had been dramatically simplified and the core theme of racial injustice played down making gang influence the predominate malfactor to the storyline.

Poverty, race, family and love are not simply black or white, good vs bad affairs.   Even with a teen audience in mind, the simplistic retelling is a missed opportunity to explore the issues that are killing our society.  Considering the choice of screen writer,  best known for writing George of the Jungle, production and distribution companies- I question how deliberate that choice was.

There are always ommissions and changes in film adaptations, but changes should be made for artistic not political reasons.

In the book for example, Uncle Carlos (A black police detective) concludes that HE WOULDN’T have shot the victim, but in the film, he said he WOULD.

I can’t see how this change, which undermines the #blacklivesmatters cause, could ever be justified. Especially thinking about Thomas’s motivation behind writing the book.

In the story, the officer murdered a 17 year old boy based on his perceived fear of a young black man.  These fears have been deliberately cultivated by society to criminalise black identity and are maintained and reinforced by systematic racism. 

By editing out the uglier side of our boys in blue, it’s not just an injustice to the fictional characters of Garden Heights, but the lives of the thousands of innocent people who have had their life stolen by an officer’s foot, fist or barrel.

Many people do hate the police.  But the hate that killed the victim was the hatred and misrepresentation of black people in our society.  A point that I think the film underplayed, particulary with a speech given by the main character.

“…It’s us, we are the ones full of hate!..”

And that’s where the story ends.  The community comes together, “snitching” on the gang leader to see him incarcerated.

Apparently, not wanting to “snitch” is the reason for gangs in communities –  not the lack of employment opportunities, education, access to healthcare or substandard social housing.

The end has no mention of the continued police brutality either.  Another deviation from the book.

This film is being lauded as a bold, policital statement about the Black Lives Matter movement- but that better describes the book than the film.

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Joyfully, the film is a beautiful depiction of a black family and at the very least,  a great starting place for discussion about the more complex issues.

BH xx

 

If you would like to challenge police brutality in the UK, the United Friends and Family Campaign work to challenge, hold to account and end deaths in custody.

http://uffcampaign.org/

 

 

 

THUG LIFE X